I think there are two things most people can agree on. One: Cancer is devastating, not only to the patient, but to family and friends as well. Two: “Childhood” and “cancer” should never be part of the same sentence.
As many of you know, I have a friend, Jenny, whose son, Cooper, is fighting Leukemia. I see her beautiful, but heartbreaking photography (she’s a pro and it shows) and read her accounts as a mother watching her son struggle on her blog and Facebook page. She’s documenting their journey so Cooper can look back and realize how loved he was and how hard his family fought for him as he beat cancer. Because he will. But it’s scary. They’ve connected with families who have triumphed and watched others say goodbye to their little angels. Cooper is strong, sweet and according to his doctors and nurses a truly wonderful, cooperative patient. At just 3 years old. Throughout their ordeal, I—along with countless other friends—have been on the sidelines, cheering them on and sending prayers. But everyday my heart goes out to their family, and I can’t help but feel, well, helpless.
So when Turn the Page on Cancer reached out to me to ask me to spread the word about their Read-a-Thon campaign, benefiting the Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), I knew I wanted to help.
The effort is being led by two avid readers, Matthew (6) and Marissa (12), who have both undergone treatment for cancer. Here’s a video telling their stories:
They’re encouraging other kids to join in their cause by signing up for the Turn the Page on Cancer Read-a-Thon that goes from April 23rd-30th (though the fundraising goes until May 20th, so there’s plenty of time still!). The money raised will go towards lifesaving research, education, and patient services, while providing help and hope to thousands. (My dad being alive 6 years after being given 6 months to live is proof that cancer research truly is making a difference.)
This is a great opportunity to:
* Encourage your kids to celebrate the joy of reading.
* Teach your kids that they can make a difference and their hard work is helping other kids in need.
* Raise awareness of leukemia, lymphoma and other types of blood cancers.
Here’s the link to learn more and sign up: Turn the Page on Cancer Read-a-Thon.
For those of you who aren’t up for the Read-a-Thon, but want to make a difference, these are the charities that Cooper and his family encourage you to support:
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Childhood Cancer Research
Oakland Children Hospital
You can also read another mother’s story of her son’s battle with Leukemia at Love Heals Gage. I was really hoping to meet her at Bloggy Boot Camp, but she had to leave early because her son wasn’t well that day.
Sending all my love, hope, prayers and encouragement to the families who are going through hard times with their little ones. Cooper, Gage and Matthew, may you all end up being beautiful success stories like my other friend’s son, Patrick, and Marissa who, years later, are big, strong, healthy and happy kids!